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Black Wolf Interviews Hunter about F2S, the Universe and Everything.

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Black Wolf:
13-11-02 - Black Wolf Interviewing Hunter

Black Wolf - Hi Hunter, how're things?

Hunter - They are not too bad. Life is very…busy and hectic at the moment. ;-)

B W - Been doing anything interesting specifically, or just a lot of general things?

H - Well General thing are a part of daily life for everyone, aren't they? Definitely general things. But, if your referring to what I have been doing in regards to Freespace 2, well, the only thing I'm concentrating on right now is getting Freespace 2 Sector up and running again (along with the Sectorgame network) so I can continue providing a great content and community resource for everyone out there once again, after all, it's been going for a long time now and would be a shame to see it stop completely after so much success.
H - And If GriffonUK was reading this, I'm sure he'll be saying p1mp ! So true Griff ;-)

B W - Absolutely. F2S went down without a lot of warning, and the circumstances surrounding it were a little sketchy. Now of course, most people know the reasons, but for those who don't, could you fill us in on exactly why it went down?

H - Well this a story too many, and would probably take a 1000 page booklet to explain completely. However, to put it down in a few sentences, Freespace 2 Sector, which I shall refer to as SG (for SectorGame) wasn't taken down by choice. In fact, no one *directly* pulled it from the Internet. However, our hosting service explained to us that they were having some ISP troubles, and would be moving the server box (for all others, as well) to a new location and running through a new ISP. However, this was, as I found out some months later, a total lie.  In actual fact, the servers never arrived at their location, and the CEO of the hosting company is now wanted for internet-fraud (and scam). The service was taken over and terminated around one month ago now. SectorGame, however, my domain and all it's contents are intact and shall be restored to a new local service (local, UK wise).  Just a very large circle of bad luck was what destroyed F2S.

B W - But it is coming back right? How's the restoration project going?

H - Yes, SG will be returning along with F2S to the Internet shortly. However, that's ALL I can say right now. I know I've said in the past it would be back within this so and so amount of time, but it's proving very difficult at the moment. What I can say right now is that we DO have a new hosting server (as explained) and the domain, of course, is still operational. The process of restoring the initial site will probably take around 4-5 hours of working time ONCE the host is online. However, at the moment that isn't the case. There are currently certain problems surrounding payment issues (and the fact that I'm on a tight budget, too). All I can say for certain is you can expect us to be back online by the new year, however I will have an update regarding the restoration process on the 15th of this month.

B W - Will there be any major changes or additions to the F2S format upon it's return?

H - At the moment there are no plans to change Freespace 2 Sector in the slightest, everything will be as good as it was. The only thing I decided to alter was the general layout of the website. This would help give it a fresher feel (and possibly an easier navigation). Over time I've always added things to Freespace 2 Sector, such as new sections, or a new hosted project and so forth. These are the only things that will probably change at F2S. There isn't much that isn't already there. What I've always considered was a mission database, but at the time both Freespace Watch and Ross 128 had them, and it was pointless. I've considered it recently, but such an undertaking would be pretty huge. All that we really need are new people to come along and continue submitting their files to us (MODs etc) - This is how it's been done for the last 2 years, and it will continue to be that way. If there is demand for something new at F2S, and an actual idea is brought forth to me, I will consider it.

B W - Excellent news, for a lot of the old regulars. But I'd say that about exhausts SectorGame as a topic, but you've been a member of the FS community as a whole for a long time now - what first attracted you to the Freespace series?

H - Hmm this certainly goes back to the original Freespace demo, which was featured on a demo-CD during 1998 (I believe). The demo itself was stunning, I'd never seen a space sim-shooter look as exciting as this. How I got my hands on the Demo-CD I don't remember, because I never bought any of the PC magazines. I think a friend showed it to me, and I just happened to notice "Freespace" listed down there. With the released of "Conflict: Freespace" in the UK, I was immediately hooked. I never had much of a computer, but it was enough to just barely get through the entire campaign several times. The fascinating story lines of Freespace outclassed many storylines from TV programmes and the visuals weren't half-bad, either. Truly amazing. With 'Freespace 2' later announced, the anticipation grew greatly ! And was it worth the wait. I received Freespace 2 as a birthday present for December 1999, and almost instantly registered on the Volition Bulletin Board, which was where my interest grew to the editing and mission design aspects of the game. Oh yes, this game has had a lot to offer.

B W - What would you consider the major high points of your time with the Freespace community, and have there been any low points?

H - High Points and Low Points? Hmm, this is a tricky one. I guess it depends how you approach that question. My most exciting time in the Freespace Community was probably when I started developing my first campaign (around January 2000) - It was called "A Time To Stand" and only a small handful of community veterans will remember this. The project involved a 30+  mission campaign with new weapon and ship modifications. At the time, such campaigns with extensive MODs were a rare sight, and some of the modifications were very creative (I've seen some new things released not a few months ago that the TTS crew originally had created two years back). I think it was going to be loaded with everything, including new sound effects and music as well. A lot of which was later handed around the community for their own uses. Sadly eight months into the project it was cancelled, not because of lack of interest, but mainly because of real-life problems which severely hampered the campaigns progress. Around 22 missions were built, but never polished. The quality of the modifications can actually be sampled in a small MOD pack which I released a few months ago. I guess the low-point of my time in community was the terrible flame-wars on the VBB that erupted not long after. But some of these arguments were so trivial it was amazing. I was heavily addicted to the community, posting non-stop for hours (my post count went through the ceiling at 4000 or so), but once the really extreme flame wars started to happen, my time spent there was reduced quite a lot. It was a shame to see that all happen, and that's my low point of my time here. But it is good to see that nothing has ever been quite as bad as it was then. But my personal dedication to the community has always been there, or I wouldn't still be here today on this interview.

B W - So, from that, would you say the community's improved over time, or gone downhill?

H - Well for a community to go completely downhill is for it to die. The Freespace Community is far from dead, so that answers that question completely. I'd say the community isn't as large as it used to be, but it is definitely more centred now. There are literally, hundreds of MODers out there working on the many projects that are slowly, but surely coming along. I'd say it has definitely improved. It's a stable, informative and nice community tucked away in our small side of cyberspace. But no community can last forever and that is inevitable. Without new material, or content to work with, there will be nothing left to do or say. But this is something a long way down the road. Something I've learned from life is that change is something you learn to expect, accept and move on. I don't think a community can ever really go downhill if it isn't dead. I don't play an active part in the community so much anymore, but I definitely do lurk around the forums now and again. Ok, there can be the occasional trouble-maker or problem personality, but these are far from representations of an entire community that's thrived for a long time now.

B W - You made mention of the number of projects that are in progress at the moment, and that is something which most definitely has improved, in both numbers and complexity, though I won't make a judgement on quality. Of the current batch of mods and campaigns in production, are there any that you are specifically looking forward to?

H - The guys at Freespace Watch have always produced some of the highest quality campaigns in the community. Derelict, Warzone are prime examples. Blackwater Operations has been on my bookmark list since the day the project was devised, and I am still eagerly awaiting it. Bobboau (however you spell it, I haven't gotten it right in 3 years) is working on many of the modifications, and he is a great guy with a lot of talent and experience (I remember his very first works, especially the awesome Ancient ships he created). I don't have much time to play anymore, but Blackwater will definitely be on my agenda of things to do. I'm also very excited about Machina Terra (haven't seen many updates on that) and also Over The Top - Basically because it looks like so much fun. I'm sure there is many great works out there, but obviously I don't have time to check up on them all. It's excellent to see so many diverse storylines and modifications.

B W - Very true. I don't suppose you've been working on any campaigns or mods in secret? :)

H - He he, I'm afraid not, though I certainly have thought about it on several occasions. The only good I can do is probably lend a story-writing hand, or a modification or so. I'm pretty good with sound, too. :-)

Really though, I am very out of date now. There is just too much going on, I couldn't create anything that hasn't already been done by now :-)

B W - I think creating F2S ought to cover it. Have you got any final comments that you'd like to give?

H - Yes F2S has certainly been a worthwhile effort. I'd just like to say that everyone has my regards, and I hope the community continues to thrive for a long time to come. When I restore, eventually, Freespace 2 Sector, I'd like people to send me their ideas - and send me their modifications ! I think the download section could sure use an update, and I'm also pretty sure its the largest collection for Freespace 2 anywhere :-)

I don't know how much time I will be able to devote to the community as "Real life" matters really can get in the way of things (as we have seen with the departure of many community members). But I can say that I can look back on my times in the community and say that I enjoyed it. Now folks, let's have another Freespace Frenzy ! ;-)

B W - Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me today Hunter.

H - No problem ! And remember, Hunt Smacker is always around someplace ! ;-)

Total Interview Time = 1 hr, 15 mins[/I]

Well done Black Wolf. Interesting...gotta read it twice.


With the VW archives gone, F2S is going to be more important than ever...

i remember TTS, and a little 1 mission demo that was released

Very good!  I enjoyed that alot and look forward to more to come.


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